Michigan Senior Olympics helps 50+ get up and stay active

While some of us will be kicking back relaxing this weekend, about 500 athletes from all over the state of Michigan will be busy competing. The Michigan Senior Olympics winter games are happening now through February 13. The goal isn't just to bring home gold, but just to get out and stay active.

Mary Holland, for example, is 93, a World War II Navy veteran and a decent bocce ball player.

"I just enjoy it, the competition and trying to place that ball where you want it to go," she says.

Mary is a Michigan Senior Olympic athlete and she's competting at Palazzo Di Bocce in Lake Orion. Her partner is her 53-year-old daughter, Vicki.

"We laugh and have a good time and to compete with my mom who's 40 years older, it's so special," Vicki says.

Michigan Senior Olympics is a nonprofit that's been around for almost 40 years. It includes a couple dozen sports, both in winter and summer. 

The goal is to use athletic competition to keep the 50 plus population active for a healthy mind body and spirit.

Mary admits she's not the best bocce player, because where she lives in Grand Rapids, there's no indoor court for practice. So, while she may not have the competitive edge, she says playing these games offers her tremendous companionship.

"Listening to my opponents, they're so good about suggesting what to do next," she says.

The winter games continue all weekend throughout metro Detroit. If you're interested in watching or learning more, visit www.michiganseniorolympics.org.

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